Nathanielle Sean Crawford
on April 25, 2016 :
The story I downloaded promised “lots of twists”. It also promised that “I will like this”.
The first big twist is that apparently all one has to do to become a “Private-Eye” is to write a letter to your local sheriff’s department and list all of the things you are good at. The second twist is that the sheriff’s office will write you back to say, “Yup, you’ve got the job.” No real experience required, no background check, no interview. I’ve always assumed that becoming a licensed private investigator would require a lot more effort than selecting a job from the newspaper of the latest Sims game, but apparently I was wrong.
Halfway through the 33 page long story, a fantasy subplot gets introduced wherein the main antagonists are named Count Van Helsing and Count Von Headlock. And it’s appropriate enough because this story is a fantasy. And not Game of Thrones fantasy, but the kind of fantasy where you and your best friend chase one another in the school yard shooting one another with a pistol made from your finger and thumb.
If you really want someone to take you seriously as a writer, take all of those stories off of Smashwords. Take them down and rewrite your first book. Whether it’s a short story, or a novella, or what have you, you need to take your time with that first work. Write it, finish it, and then find someone who will give you the mother of all proofreads. That someone cannot be your friend, or your boss, or your family member, or your coworker who is only trying to make you happy because they hope you’ll swap shifts with them on Friday.
Pour your heart and soul into that book. Your father told you to try for attainable goals; well you’re not even trying. When I see work like this, I see someone who might have typed something out on their iPhones during their fifteen minute break, and maybe spent their half-hour break uploading the story to Smashwords. I can’t believe that anyone who truly cares about you and the impression you make on those people that you hope will one day offer you money in exchange for your work, would take a look at your story and say, “This is perfect. Post it up now.”
You might also come back at me with the fact that English may not be your first language. If that’s so, that still is not an excuse. Because if you were writing in your first language, you would still have to produce something that was as polished as it could possibly be before you even think of asking someone to judge the story by the writing.
Also, don’t besmirch the idea of a cover. Because a picture of yourself, which you don’t seem shy about using in lieu of a cover, is not doing you any favors in the marketing department. This is not a personal attack on your looks, or your appearance, but until people consider your writing akin to an unholy addiction (which might offend you as a Christian writer, but even Christian writers have to have a proofreader) then you may want to think twice before they associate your face with a story that they can’t even bring themselves to finish.
(review of free book)